Why do projects fail, especially larger ones? What is a project anyway? The word has become so loosely used in chat today. Doesn’t project management would come under general management? If there is a manager in place, shouldn’t he be managing the project? Isn’t project management about good planning? Yes, it is but then what is good planning and how do you implement it? These are some of the questions we attempt to answer on this online course.
I consider project management to be the ultimate business paradox. According to the recent Project Management Institute (PMI®) “Pulse of the Profession” report, the percentage of projects succeeding (meeting their goals) has remained flat at 64 percent between 2012 and 2015. That is a very good score compared to reality, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The problem with these reports is that the research isn’t conducted from an African perspective and where they do, they scrape the top of the cream looking at the big companies like Dangote or MTN and leave out the bigger picture – what is happening to the small and medium enterprises at the private and public sector level?
This is the real level where all the professional counseling, training, and support are needed. The percentage of projects “not” meeting their goals in this region and segment is more like 64% in my opinion. Not enough planning is being accomplished. Large or small, software, R&D, or administrative, successful projects rely on good planning. Too many project managers take a ready-fire-aim approach in an attempt to complete a project quickly. Many organizations do not allow project managers significant planning time or virtually any time at all. This often results in spending far more time and effort reworking errors, soothing unhappy stakeholders, and backing out of blind alleys. In short, the lack of adequate planning causes projects to fail and there is a lot of that in this region.
This course teaches how to create a project management mindset from the grassroots of an organization and its staff right to the top. How to focus on talent management, continuous training, and formal knowledge transfer within an organization irrespective of size. How to establish processes that support project management through the establishment and adoption of standardized project practices and processes. And how to overcome the several extra hurdles in managing projects in this part of the world that is absent in other parts where most project management research is conducted.
The fundamental project tools never really change, but the nuances of applying those tools for project success seem to be always changing, adjusting for the new now. Adjustments must be made for technological advances, extra-ordinary inconveniences and incompetency, workplace demographics, global reach, and even fluctuations in the economy, to name but a few. Successful project management can be a real challenge, and it is never dull. This course includes time-proven tools, as well as information that will keep you current with the requirements of the profession today. As you read, remind yourself to learn from the past—and look to the future.